I just want to take a moment to thank each of you for becoming friends of Bountiful Harvest Farm and Heritage Farmgirl.
When we stepped out on faith and started our farm, we had no idea where it would exactly take us. We have been amazed at the people we have met and the connection that have been formed all across this beautiful country. Let alone the world? From the farmers getting chicks to grow in North Carolina, Rhode Island, Montana, Washington, Missouri and Oregon, to having Larry Kissell for a farm tour & lunch, to making a lasting friendship with Jonathan & Joe with Chicks for Change project through The Forsaken Children's organization, to farm tours with pre-schools, county extension offices and other organizations, to Gary being asked to speak at the Organic Growers School and several other educational workshops and finally to the many many customers who have bought our chicken and turkey to put on their family table. You see, we have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving season. Even in the shadows of losing our parents in August (Gary's Mom) and October (Kelly's Dad), we can still count our blessings because we would not be who we are without their influences on our lives.
We hope that each and everyone of you had a blessed Thanksgiving. Remember to cherish those whom you have in your lives........just a little story we'd like to share.......
On the first day of class, a university professor stood in front of his philosophy class with an empty jar.
Without saying a word to his students, he removed the lid of the jar and filled it with golf balls. When no more golf bars fit he closed the jar with its lid. He then asked his class, “Would you say that the jar is now full?” His students observed the jar and concluded that the jar was indeed full.
The professor then proceeded to open the jar up and started inserting marbles into the jar. The marbles started to fill the gaps between the golf balls. After sealing the jar, he asked his class once again if they thought the jar was now full. The class concluded that the jar was indeed now full.
The professor opened the jar a third time and started pouring in sand. Obviously, the sand started filling the gaps between the golf balls and the marbles. He then sealed the jar and asked his class a third time if the jar was full. His class chuckled and replied in unison, “Yes, it is now full!”
The professor opened the jar and emptied two small cups of coffee in the jar. The liquid had completely filled the gap between the golf balls, the marbles, and the grains of sand. He then began his lecture.
“I hope you realize that life is very much like this jar. The golf balls represent the important things in life, like God, family, loved ones, health, things that you care intimately about. If we lost everything else in life, our lives would still be ‘full’. The marbles are the other things in our lives that are important, but our happiness shouldn’t depend on them. Things like our work, our house, our car, etc. Finally, the sand represents everything else; the small stuff.
“If we were to have filled our jar up with sand first, there we wouldn’t have had enough room for the marbles or the golf balls. If we use all our life and energy on the small stuff, we won’t have any room for the important things.”
After a brief moment of silence one of the students asked, “Professor, what does the coffee represent?”
“Ah, I’m glad you asked,” replied the professor.
“It means that no matter how full your life is, there is always room for a cup of coffee with a friend.”
(Untitled to my knowledge, Author Unknown to me)
Blessings from our farm to you,
Gary & Kelly Sikes
Mekayla, Carson and Carrie
***Sorry that I have not been posting weekly.
After the loss of my daddy in October, it has been hard for me to find the words to write. Each time that I tried I would get off track and lost in the thoughts in my head. I would write for hours only to go back and delete everything I had just written. Time does help.......for the month of December I'll be posting recipes and maybe a funny story or two. After the first of the year, I'll go back to posting weekly on Wednesdays.
Thanks for your patience during this difficult time in my life.
With coffee in hand,
**Rinse the turkey inside and out under cold running water. Soak the turkey in the brine, covered and refrigerated, for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
Turkey Stock: (optional)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse well under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels both inside and out. Place turkey, breast side up, in a large, heavy roasting pan.
Heritage Roasting Times
Weight 325' Roasting Time
8-12 1¼ to 2¼ hours
12-14 2¼ to 2¾ hours
14-16 2¾ to 3½ hours
16-18 3½ to 4 hours
18-20 4 to 4½ hours
20-25 4½ to 5 hours
25-30 4½ to 6 hours
Done 165 degrees in Thigh
Note: The USDA recommends turkeys be cooked to 160F-180F, but these temperature will dry out a heritage turkey. Heritage birds are much freer of disease and bacteria, unlike commercially raised birds, and do not need extreme temperatures to make them safe for consumption.
Author: Kelly W. Sikes
Who is she? I am wife, mother of 3, daughter of 2 wonderful city parents, a sister to one sis, a home school mom, an office manager and a farmgirl!
Well, this really does not tell you about me just some of the titles I have. I am a 40 something girl who has found herself very blessed by where life has taken her ….to the farm kitchen! I am a fun loving girl who loves to be in the kitchen cooking or looking thru cookbooks or the internet for new healthy delicious recipes for my family. I am happiest when I have a spoon in my hand (and a cup of coffee in the other) and my 2 girls in the kitchen with me cooking up our next creation.
How she ended up on a farm……I come from a small southern town right outside Charlotte, NC. I thought I lived in the country! Until my college roommate, Jennifer took me home with her for the week-end. (I lived 20 min. west of Charlotte; she lived a 1hr. 20 min. east of Charlotte.) Wow!! What a difference. That’s when I really found out what it meant to be country. Rolling fields of corn, soybeans, and stuff I didn’t have any idea what it was (and still don't), then poultry houses after poultry house. It was not uncommon for you to go several miles without even seeing a house (for people).
A year later, Jennifer set me up on a blind date with one of those country boys……well I guess you could say I was blinded by love and fell head over heels for my true love, Gary. We have now been married for 22 adventured filled years.
Even though he was a country boy, we didn’t start out on the farm. We waited until 1996 to buy our land which is next to his family farm. We didn’t consider farming until 7 years later after Gary became sick. In 2011, we started Bountiful Harvest Farm. So here I am a farmgirl …….
What’s on our farm? We raise heritage poultry. We are a full circle farm- laying hens, breeders, a hatchery, chicken and turkey growers, and on the farm processing.
If you are still reading, I’m impressed. I don’t claim to be a writer. I’m just a regular girl who is going to share about life on a chicken farm, some of my favorite recipes and a few funny stories of my family along the way. I hope you'll come back - just grab a cup of coffee (or whatever drink your hand desires), pull me up and visit.